Anuvāka 5

This anuvāka consists of 15 mantras. Unlike previous anuvāka-s, beginning from this anuvāka till anuvāka 9, namaḥ is placed only in the beginning of each mantra. Instead ‘ca’ (च) is used to connect different parts of mantra. This is also used to connect two mantras to make a comprehensive one. It is used as a conjunct to connect two or more words; similar to, ‘and’, in English.  If this anuvāka and the next anuvāka (6th) are chanted for 11 days properly, it gives victory in court cases and all sorts of auspiciousness.

नमो भवाय च रुद्राय च

namo bhavāya ca rudrāya ca (5:1)


Salutations to Bhava and Rudra (now different names of Rudra are being revealed). Bhava means coming into existence and omnipresent; the one who exists from the beginning of time. Rudra refers to the one who saves us from the pains of saṁsāra.


Lalitā Sahasranāma (880) says, Samsāra-paṅka-nirmagna-samuddharaṇa-paṇḍitā सम्सार-पङ्क-निर्मग्न-समुद्धरण-पण्डिता, which means that She is capable of rescuing men who are entangled in saṃsāra. Saṃsāra means materialistic life.  It is said that those who always think about Her, do not get entangled in materialistic life; instead they lead spiritual life.  Saṃsāra originates from the word saṃsārin which can be explained as the transmigratory soul passing through various mundane states in the form of various sentient beings. Saṃsāra should not be confused with the life of householder (grahasthya).  A man cannot perform fire rituals without his wife and this is prohibited in śastra-s.

Kṛṣṇa says “Arjuna! I speedily rescue from the ocean of birth and death, their mind being fixed on me.” (Bhagavad Gīta XII.7)

नमः शर्वाय च पशुपतये च

namaḥ śarvāya ca paśupataye ca (5:2)


Salutations to the one who destroys sins and protects all the ignorant beings. Animals are also called ignorant as they do not have proper mind. Paśu also means unrealized souls as against Self-realized souls. He not only protects the realized ones, but also the unrealized ones, as He is the Supreme and Absolute authority.


Lalitā Sahasranāma 354 Paśu-pāśa-vimocanī पशु-पाश-विमोचनी explains in detail about paśu. “The concept of self-realization is best explained in Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad (I.iv.10).  It says “This self was indeed Brahman in the beginning.  It knew Itself as, ‘I am Brahman.’  Therefore, It became all.  And whoever among the gods knew It, also became That; and the same with sages and men.” When one realizes Brahman, he becomes everything.   Those who do not have the requisite knowledge to know the Brahman are called paśu-s.  Paśu generally means cattle; but in the present context it can be explained as the individual soul as distinct from the divine Soul of the universe.  In other words, paśu here means those who do not possess knowledge about the Brahman.   Pāśa means bondage arising out of ignorance.  The cattle need just food and beyond food they do not think about anything, because they are incapable of thinking.  That is why those who do not possess wisdom for knowing the Brahman are called paśu-s.

Liṅga Purāṇa says paśu-s are the individual souls and pāśa is the bondage and such bondage of paśu-s are destroyed by Paśupatī, the Lord of all paśu-s (Śiva).

It is better to know a little more on paśu as this word is more frequently used in many Upaniṣads.  Śiva Sutra I.2 says “jñānam bandhaḥ”.  Jñānam means vitiated knowledge and bandhaḥ means bondage.  Limited knowledge is ignorance.  Ignorance is the cause for bondage that veils the true Brahman.  This phenomenon is called āṇava mala.  Mala has been explained as ignorance that hampers the free expression of the Brahman.  Āṇava mala means innate ignorance of the soul.  Āṇava is the word derived from the root aṇu which means the empirical individual.  This āṇava mala   is subdivided into two.  The first one is the ignorance innate in the very being of the individual Self and other is ignorance inherent in the intellect or buddhi.  The āṇava mala is the cause of bondage.   Those who are afflicted by such āṇava mala undergo birth and death and they are known as paśu-s.

नमो नीलग्रीवाय च शितिकण्ठाय च

namo nīlagrīvāya ca śitikaṇṭhāya ca (5:3)


Salutations to the one who has blue throat and white neck.


Śiti not only means white, but also dark blue. Rudra is also known as Kālakaṇṭha because of blue colour of the poison in His throat. Kaṇṭha means throat. This poison is called kālakūṭa or kālahāla the deadliest poison got out of churning ocean, which was swallowed by Rudra.  It is also said that when Rudra was consuming the poison, She held His throat, preventing Him to swallow the poison.  Kālakaṇṭhī, a deity, is said to be the creation of Rudra along with Kālī for destroying demons. Śitikaṇṭha is explained as aggregate of subtle bodies, which is also known as sūtrātman, the consciousness which is limited by the aggregate of subtle bodies.

नमो कपर्दिने च व्युप्तकेशाय च

namo kapardine ca vyuptakeśāya ca (5:4)


Salutations to the One who has braided hair and tonsured head.


Look at the opposites, head with braided hair and the other one with tonsured head. He exists as both, at the same time. Hence He is called omnipresent. Some yogis have long plaited hair and some sages and saints have tonsured head. Saṃnyāsin-s have tonsured heads. Rudra is not only Paśupati, but He is also in the form of yogis, sages, saints and saṃnyāsin-s. He prevails everywhere. Śiva Saṁhitā (V.122) says, “One who meditates regularly is the learned lord of Yoga (Shiva).”

नम सहस्राक्षाय च शतधन्वने च

nama sahasrākṣāya ca śatadhanvane ca (5:5)


Salutations to the One, who has thousands of eyes and hundred arrows.


Thousand eyes refer to His omnipresence. This is also explained in Puruṣasūktaṁ, which says, “sahasraśīrṣā puruṣa” which means the Puruṣa (Brahman) has thousand heads.  Kṛṣṇa also says in Bhagavad Gītā (XIII.13), “sarvato'kṣiśiromukham “which means having eyes, heads and faces in all directions. He has 100 arrows to destroy evil doers. This means that He has countless weaponries.

नम गिरिशाय च शिपिविष्टाय च

nama giriśāya ca śipiviṣṭāya ca (5:6)


Salutations to Him who lives in the mountain and the one who is pervaded by knowledge.


Human body is considered as a mountain and He resides within, ever shining as the Self. Mountain also refers to Purāṇic Mountain, Mount Kailāśa, His Abode. Śipi refers to sacrificial cows also known as paśu.  This means that He, as the Lord of sacrifices pervades in every sacrificial object.  Secretively śipi refers to all the organs of a person who offers them as sacrificial oblations in the inner fire.  Sacrificing organs mean disconnecting the sensory organs from the materialistic world.  Evil thoughts enter into the mind when sensory organs are allowed to stray into the material world.  When these organs are offered as oblations, they are burnt and cannot send information from the external world.  Yajur Veda (II.v.5.2) says, “viṣṇave śipiviṣṭāya” and this means offered to Viṣṇu and contextually this also means that there is no difference between Rudra and Viṣṇu.

नमो मीढुष्टमाय चेषुमते च

namo mīḍhuṣṭamāya ceṣumate ca (5:7)


This mantra should be read as “namo mīḍhuṣṭamāya ca iṣumate ca” Ca and iṣumate together form ceṣumate.

Salutations to the one who is bountiful (by causing rain). Iṣumat means possessor of arrows. Arrows subtly convey actions; He has three actions, creation, sustenance and destruction.


Mīḍhuṣṭama also means hiraṇyagarbha. He uses His bountiful energy to create the universe Vedānta Paribhāsā a 17th century scripture explains hiraṇyagarbha. It says “Hiraṇyagarbha is the first soul to be born and is different from Brahma, Viṣṇu and Śiva.”  The subtle body consisting of the five vital forces, the mind, the intellect and the ten organs is produced from the five basic elements.  This paves the way for the soul to experience the result of actions or in other words it causes karma-s. The subtle body is of two kinds, superior and inferior.  The superior one is the subtle body of hiraṇyagarbha and the inferior is the subtle body of living beings.  The subtle body of hiraṇyagarbha is called as mahat or the cosmic intellect and the subtle body of living beings is called ego.

Iṣukṛt means an arrow maker and contextually it refers to Creator. He not only creates but also protect beings with the help of His arrows.

नमो ह्रस्वाय च वामनाय च

namo hrasvāya ca vāmanāya ca (5:8)


Both hrasva and vāmana mean short. Salutations to the One who is short.


Hrasva also means young in age. Hrasva subtly conveys dahara vidyā, as explained in Chāndogya Upaniṣad (VIII.1). It says, “This body is the city of Brahman. Within it is an abode of a lotus (dhaharaṁ puṇḍarīkaṁ) and within that, there is a small space (dhaharaḥ antarākāśaḥ). One must search within this space…..” This way, hrasva means the Self within.

Vāmana conveys the same meaning. Kaṭha Upaniṣad (II.ii.3) explains this in a different perspective. It says that Self is worshipped in the center of the heart, between prāṇa and apāna and the object of worship is Vāmanam, the Self.  Brahman can be realised only through affirmations and negations.

This mantra says that Rudra can be realized only within and through meditation.